2002 360 Modena F1

Written by tonks on June 20, 2007

2002 Ferrari 360 Modena F1The Ferrari 360 Modena F1 is truly a fun vehicle for people to drive around with no worries. It is not a vehicle that will be much used for tranportation. Of course when one pays $155,000 for a sports car they treat it well…like a sports car.

Still, the 2002 Ferrari 360 Modena F1 is as close to a real car, a traditional car, a usable car, as the storied Italian car maker has ever produced. For the first time, Ferrari has addressed such things as interior space, basic ergonomics and overall comfort, not to mention our test car’s automatic transmission, which makes this the first of the brand’s mid-engined supercars that can truly be driven everyday.

This car stops traffic. Although its rounded lines abandon such traditional Ferrari styling cues as the chrome egg crate grille, passersby don’t seem to mind. The two large air intakes on the 360’s slopping nose drew rave reviews from admirers of all ages.  Also absent are the pop-up headlamps worn by all of the 360 Modena’s predecessors, which have included the 308.  Replacing pop-up headlamps are glass-covered headlamp clusters, which arch back to the Ferrari’s of the late 1950s.

As you look rearward, past the 360’s shapely mirrors, sleek door handles and menacing air intakes, you reach the car’s most striking feature, its glass covered engine. One look down through that large glass hatch at the Ferrari-badged V8, and it’s obvious that this is a special car.  Out back are traditional Ferrari taillights, and four exhaust pipes shoved through holes shaped to mimic the car’s front air intakes. Nice touch. And of course, as it should be, there’s a rather large chrome prancing horse smack dab in the middle of it all.

As attractive and sexy as it is, every part of the 360’s exterior, even its undercarriage, has an aerodynamic purpose. The car’s sweeping lines and unique flat bottom are the result of 5000 hours of wind tunnel testing. It’s a shape that works with the wind to actually suck the car down to the road the faster the car is driven.  Low and wide the 360 rides on racy, lightweight five-spoke alloy wheels and 18-inch tires. Look past those wheels and you’ll find huge cross-drilled racecar-style disc brakes with the Ferrari name riding along on the brake calipers. Another terrific detail.

Once in, you’re surrounded by the finest materials we’ve ever seen in an automobile. The leather, which covers everything, is top notch. The console, door panels and dash are polished aluminum. And the plastics used for the switches and air conditioning vents are heavy to the touch. Even the toggle switches that control things like the trunk latch and the defogger require a heavy hand to operate. Everything about this car says quality, nothing feels loose or flimsy.

Ergonomic problems are limited to the odd offset of the pedals toward the center of the car, which takes some getting used to, the poor reception and poorly marked controls of the car’s audio system, and the lack of any cupholders. With time we grew to like the placement of the window switches, which are on either side of the stereo.  Ahead of the driver is a fat racecar-like steering wheel and a well laid out gauge cluster that’s easy to read with a 10,000-rpm tachometer front and center. Only the gas gauge, which goes from full to empty rather rapidly, is a bit hidden behind the wheel. We like the odd green night lighting of the dials.

The Ferrari 360 Modena F1 is one of the fastest cars you can buy, and with the exception of the Porsche 911 Turbo, it’s the quickest car available with an automatic transmission. This car will blast from a standstill to 60 mph in a tick over 4 seconds and rip through the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds at over 112 mph. There are only a few cars on the market, besides other Ferraris, that accelerate quicker. They are the aforementioned Porsche, the Lamborghini Diablo, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the Lotus Esprit V8 and the Dodge Viper. These are also the only cars that can rival the 360’s 180+ mph top speed.

Posted Under: Ferrari,Supercars

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